The Long Haul Trucker is built, as you might expect, as a touring bike. But it does a lot of other stuff good too, like commuting, day trips, double centuries, and of course beer runs. We set it up with a triple crank, a reasonably wide-range rear gear cluster, and large-ish, comfy tires. Add racks and you’re ready to haul. We mean it. The frame is designed to be stable and supple fully loaded with gear. Other bikes, 'converted' touring bikes you might call them, simply don’t handle big loads as well. The Long Haul Trucker, like all our frames, is steel, because steel rides way better than aluminum or carbon fiber, and for less money. It’s got rack and fender mounts front and rear, three bottle mounts, even a spare spoke holder.
Strengths: The Surly must be fully loaded to enjoy. My model is 2011 and fitted with Salsa racks in the front, standard rack in the rear. The inaugural tour was just under 1000 miles and 70 mile days common.
Weaknesses: Replace the seat with a Brooks and, after break-in, you are set to go. The bar end shifters become intuitive after a few days on the road.
The Surly is made to tour. When going out for group rides, use another bike!
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: August 13, 2012
Strengths: Just upgraded to a 2012 LHT after riding the Erie Canalway from Buffalo to Albany with my old clunker. I enjoy touring and will typically carry 50 pounds of gear. Took it for a break-in ride today. This bike fits well. It's comfortable, even with the factory seat and pedals. I had it fitted and set up by a knowledgable dealer. I'm 6'4" tall and 220 pounds. The frame is solid and handles rough surfaces well. Some people don't like the bar-end shifters, but I think that they are easy to learn to use. Shifting is flawless and becomes intuitive. I was using straight bars with extensions on my old bike. The geometry of drop bars on the LHT offers more ride positions and I feel my endurance and power improved as a result. I don't miss my bar extensions. The gearing is for touring and offers great range for hills with a fully loaded bike. BTW, the MSRP is out of date, but at the current price it's still well worth it.
Weaknesses: The LHT has few weaknesses, if any. I think that you need to do some research and test ride before you buy a bike. Bikes are all different and you need to find one that satisfies all of your personal preferences. For me, the LHT is the perfect bike.
For the price point, this is a quality machine. If you tour and carry a lot of gear, this is a great bike.
Bike Setup: Stock with Tubus Logo rear pannier rack, SKS fenders, and Topeak handlebar bag
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: August 24, 2011
Strengths: Stable, durable, utilitarian, and comfortable. If you're looking for a bike built for touring, I wouldn't hesitate to tell you to get out and pick one up. This bike has been wonderful on countless all-day rides. If you can only afford one bike, this bike works great as a commuter bike as well.
Weaknesses: If you pick up a complete LHT, the saddle will need to be replaced if you're going to do any touring. Also, the bar-end shifters can be awkward if you ever find yourself riding out of the saddle on a hill or in a sprint. This is typically only an issue while using the bike as a commuter as it's rare you'll find yourself in a sprint on a fully loaded bike.
The Long Haul Trucker is a great steel frame bike built specifically for bicycle touring. With a lower bottom bracket and long chain stay, the bike is made to stay stable with the extra weight of touring and give you a little extra clearance between your heal and rear panniers. The LHT also has a ton of braze-ons for racks and fenders, extra spokes stashed on the frame in case you break some, and room for wider tires (“fatties fit fine”) for a cushier ride. It seems this bike is becoming more and more popular which is a great testament to its quality and durability. This bike does what it was designed to do very well!
Similar Products Used: Novara Safari, Specialized Crosscheck
Bike Setup: Stock setup from REI.
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2011
Strengths: steel frame is awesome soaks up bumps and vibration better that a big shocked MTB.
a lot of Shimano XT parts and the bar end shifters are the higher end ones( these take some time to get used to but are pretty easy when you get the hang of it).
Weaknesses: cork tape on handle bars is EHHH.
got this bike mainly for the 20+ mile round trip commute. huge improvement over my trek 3500. really want to do a century or two a year but not this year. still every thing this bike came with is top notch i only changed out the seat for a brooks flyer.
changed out stem for a kalloy uno adjustable. also put on schawble marathon plus tires. this bike is awesome right out of the box but i wanted some special features that would suit me better.
Similar Products Used: this is my first road bike.
Bike Setup: stock other than seat, tires and stem.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: June 15, 2011
Strengths: Easy to ride, strong, very stable, easy to attach pannier racks, mudguards etc. Can buy the frame separately and build a bike to suit yourself.
Weaknesses: Could be a bit lighter maybe (it is a bit of a tank!).
Mines' a 2010 build. Wanted to build a bike using the components of my choice. I was after a bike which was excellent for touring and fine for general recreational biking. Ordering the frame and major components online saved me quite a bit, plus I had a heap of fun building it, including lacing up my own wheels. Notched up 1000 kms quite quickly, including a 130 km shakedown day trip. Now it's my favourite ride. Comfortable, stable, dependable. It's become like a best buddy.